Our golf trip of a lifetime began on October 5th 2014, when eight of us UCD students ( Captain – Darragh O’ Sullivan , Joe Neil, Jack Ryan, Liam Harnett, Harry Scott, John Conroy, Peter McKeever and Alex Gleeson) joined eight UCD alumni and set out for the warm October sunshine of New York State. The five day golfing competition is hosted by Iona College in New Rochelle, New York (located about 20 miles north of Manhattan).

Day 1

Day one was a warm up day and we played a majestic nine hole Country Club called Millbrook. The course is set amongst tall towering mature trees which wind their way around what can only be called a beautiful course. altAji0EIv5xOjd4h8ZYdtakhiibeQMQCHMNbSAnen7O-Qv copy

It was nice of the country club to be so accommodating to us as in New York State golf clubs are closed on Mondays. This was the first of many warm gestures from the American people we were to meet over the next couple of days. We also met all of the UCD alumni who were also taking on our American counterparts from Iona.

2  Day 2

Our first competitive round against Iona was a thriller.      We played at the infamous Cherry Valley Country Club  where Iona       Graduate Brendan Corrigan is a member. The  staff were always on hand to offer their services no  matter what the task. It was      a pleasurable experience to  see how we were treated as one of their own. The course  itself is well known for how exceptional    the greens are.  All thirty two of us on the trip were amazed at how quick  they were. They were something similar to a marble      staircase, lightning fast.

The golf itself was played at a high standard. UCD  grinded out a 2.5-1.5 victory and carried the 1 point  advantage into the              second day’s proceedings. UCD  gained points from the pairings of of October. We were  met by warm sunshine in the state on    New Harry Scott  and Jack Ryan, Alex Gleeson and Joe Neiland, and a hard  fought half point form Peter McKeever and John          Conroy.

After golf we were treated to a buffet dinner which consisted of the finest foods any restaurant could offer. This was the perfect    end to a tough day on the course.



Day 3

Carrying a 1 point lead into the second round was a help to us students. Upon arriving to Sleepy Hollow Country Club we were overwhelmed by the beauty and size of the entire resort. The clubhouse was built in the early 1990’s by Cornelius Vanderbilt who was once the richest man in the United State. The complex was so vast and exquisite. Something none of the UCD students and Alumni had ever come across. This 140 room mansion is now the lavish clubhouse of Sleepy Hollow. The clubhouse has an estimated worth over $52 million. Like Cherry Valley we were greeted with open arms and were given a generous goodie bag that contained memorabilia from the club shop. We were overwhelmed with this gesture as well as being given our own personal lockers which had our names fixed to them. These small details made our stay in sleepy Hollow one to remember. On the golf course UCD students pulled a narrow victory over their Iona counterparts. It was yet again a 2.5-1.5, bringing the totals to 5 points to 3 points. Wins came from Liam Harnett and Jack Ryan, Alex Gleeson and Joe Neiland, and a hard earned half point from Harry Scott and Peter McKeever. We seemed to be odds on favourites heading into the final days action in the world renowned Winged Foot Country Club. Dinner took place in the Library of the “Vanderbilt” mansion a room which was clearly steeped in history.

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Day 4

Where do I begin to speak about this day? We were playing at the infamous Winged Foot Country Club. This is a highlight of all our golfing careers to date. This magnificent course has held the U.S Open golf championship in previous years, most notably in 2006 where Geoff Ogilvy won his first major. From the outset we knew that this day was going to be special. Everything about this resort was in pristine condition. We knew that taking in a two point lead into the singles matches was a major advantage to hold. However we needed to play at our best to overcome a fight back from our American counterparts. Alex Gleeson and Jack Ryan set out early on and commanded big leads from the outset with Jack winning on the 11th the end of UCD’s fortune. Iona were playing inspired golf. Iona took 5.5 out of a possible 6 points in the remaining matches to win by a solitary point overall. Our half point came from a resilient Joe Neiland who determined to come away from his weeks golf unbeaten. This comeback can only be applauded. The resilience showed by the Iona students was superb. Our captain Darragh O’Sullivan handed over the cup to Iona captain Tom McHugh during dinner. Both team captains, as well as John Reidy, Oliver Egan and Jim Hines all said a few words about the terrific week we had. They all paid tribute to the work that goes into organising this trip and how well received we were everywhere we went for the last four days. A special tribute was made to Jim Hines for all of his efforts in bringing Iona and UCD together for the last twelve years. Jim is a gentlemen and wants nothing more than this friendship and competition to go on for many years to come. We enjoyed a night of 5* food and had great fun in getting to know everyone a little better as the competitive edge was taken off of us. We all reflected on what was a truly mesmerising week which in the end brought heartbreak for the UCD students as they lost on an overall score line of 8.5 to 7.5.

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Day 5

To cap off our week we headed into Manhattan to visit some of the famous sites. We were amazed at the volume of people who had congregated around the 9/11 memorial. Unfortunately due to time constraints we did not get an opportunity to visit the museum. Maybe next time this will happen. We spent some time in China Town, Wall Street and the area’s that surround New York University where some of our friends attend. This was a nice relaxing part of the trip where we got and Alex on the 15th

Unfortunately this was to be to understand what America is all about. It is full of kind generous outgoing people who want the best for their country and the people in it. This was clear to see wherever we went throughout the entire five days. Unfortunately this was to be our last full day in the U.S as we departed for Dublin the following afternoon.

As a final note on behalf of all the students involved we would like to sincerely thank the generous welcome the Iona students and Graduates gave us every day. Moreover we would like to express our gratitude to John Reidy, Bill Jolley, and Jim Hynes for organising this match and allowing us to play some of the best courses both America and the world have to offer. For this we are extremely grateful to you. This trip will love in the memory of all of us. It was truly an incredible and unforgettable experience.


(Guest written by Jack)